FP&A Process Optimisation


FP&A Process Optimisation

Maximise your FP&A processes using the software you already own: MS Excel, particularly with PowerQuery (see PowerQuery if you don’t believe us). No additional licensing fees are needed.

Your experienced staff are key to identifying real bottlenecks in your FP&A process, and no software can replace their expertise. We can help by leveraging their knowledge and optimising your FP&A process.

Here’s how we can assist:

  1. Assess Your Team’s Excel Skills:
    Evaluate current skill levels to tailor training effectively (see our Excel Skills Assessment site for more details)
  2. Provide Practical, Targeted Training:
    Focus on areas directly impacting FP&A tasks, building on existing expertise.
  3. Identify Time-Consuming Tasks:
    Work one-on-one with staff to pinpoint and address the actual time drains and to optimise the FP&A Process.
  4. Develop Custom Spreadsheets:
    Create specialised tools to solve complex problems beyond your staff’s current capabilities.
  5. Conduct Follow-Up Training:
    Reinforce skills using your company’s data and our custom solutions to ensure lasting knowledge transfer.

Contact us at info@AuditExcel.co.za to discuss FP&A Process Optimisation further.

Background to Current FP&A Processes

FP&A Process Optimisation- Your staff are key

Every business faces challenges in optimising the month-end and FP&A processes. Despite the simplicity suggested by “click a button, get your results, analyse them” the reality involves multiple, often costly, software solutions. However, you likely already have the essential tools: MS Excel and your knowledgeable staff.

MS Excel is an incredibly powerful tool used across industries, continually evolving with new features designed specifically for financial and other month-end optimisations. Yet, most companies don’t utilise Excel to its full potential, nor do they fully leverage their employees’ expertise in conjunction with it. Your staff know your systems and common issues, possessing invaluable experience in reconciling accounts.

Together, your staff and Excel can solve all your FP&A problems. However, due to time constraints and ingrained habits, they often lack the opportunity to innovate and optimise processes.

The Problem with Month Ends

FP&A Process Optimisation- Month End Reconciliations

With numerous software systems in play, Excel inevitably becomes the go-to tool for integrating and then reconciling data. It’s the most widely used month-end software globally. Your dedicated staff spend significant time ensuring accurate month-end results and detailed FP&A, often inefficiently. They might not communicate the extent of the automatable tasks they handle manually, focusing instead on the end outputs and meeting the deadlines.

Understanding the reconciliation process typically involves human intervention—identifying errors and coordinating with departments. However, data cleaning and matching shouldn’t require much manual effort. Automating these tasks can significantly reduce time spent on month-end activities, allowing your team to focus on meaningful reconciliation work.

FP&A Process Optimisation: What We Can Do

Standard MS Excel training often lacks context, teaching tools without practical application in the real world. We bridge this gap by integrating your specific month-end needs with targeted Excel training.

Our process includes:

  • Excel Training with a Focus on PowerQuery:
    Equip your staff with tools for data cleaning, automating tasks, and efficient report comparison.
  • Identify Time Wasting Areas:
    Collaborate with your team to discover and address repetitive, time-consuming tasks.
  • Hands-On Workshops:
    Observe your team’s month-end process, providing tailored solutions and mini tools to streamline their workflow.
  • Custom Excel Training:
    Conduct follow-up courses using your data and specific issues to reinforce learning and ensure practical application.

By optimising the synergy between MS Excel and your staff, we enhance efficiency, allowing more time for problem-solving and less for data preparation.

Examples of Quick Wins from One-on-One Consulting

Legacy Systems with Unusual Delimiter Structures

A client using an outdated DOS-based system faced issues with a report that used a mix of tabs and spaces as delimiters. We developed a converter spreadsheet that instantly imported the data into Excel, saving 20 minutes daily for ongoing monitoring in addition to month-end time savings.

Multi-Level Recons

For a client needing to reconcile data from two systems, initial matching on a primary key followed by secondary text field matching was necessary. Previously, this involved multiple VLOOKUPs and manual filtering. Our solution automated the matching process, drastically reducing time and effort.

Contact us at info@AuditExcel.co.za to learn about our FP&A Process Optimisation capabilities.